The German automotive industry is the backbone of the economy
says Christian Hochfeld, Executive Director of the Agora Verkehrswende, an automotive development thinktank based in Berlin. As a leader in auto sector innovation, Germany is gearing up for the electric future. Last year Chancellor Angela Merkel set the goal to have 1 million electric cars on the road by 2020 – an ambitious goal which even the Chancellor herself has admitted may not be feasible. But entrepreneurs, innovators and members of the already well-established auto-sector have accepted this as a challenge. Powered by additional charging sites and improving products, this year Germany will become the world's third-largest market for plug-in hybrids and electric cars, surpassing current European leader Norway.
The road towards the electric future can be witnessed in Berlin where start-up Ubitricity is developing MobileCharging and slow-charging EV points that can be incorporated in the urban infrastructure, into lamp posts for example. Elsewhere, a joint-venture created by BMW, Daimler, Ford and Volkswagen Group, called IONITY is developing 400 fast-charging stations across Europe, showing that the road to the electric future comes hand in hand with vision, entrepreneurship and innovation.